NASA's Space Launch System is being designed for safe, affordable, and sustainable human and scientific exploration missions beyond Earth's orbit (BEO), as directed by the NASA Authorization Act of 2010 and NASA's 2011 Strategic Plan. This paper describes how the SLS can dramatically change the Mars program's science and human exploration capabilities and objectives. Specifically, through its high-velocity change (delta V) and payload capabilities, SLS enables Mars science missions of unprecedented size and scope. By providing direct trajectories to Mars, SLS eliminates the need for complicated gravity-assist missions around other bodies in the solar system, reducing mission time, complexity, and cost. SLS's large payload capacity also allows for larger, more capable spacecraft or landers with more instruments, which can eliminate the need for complex packaging or "folding" mechanisms. By offering this capability, SLS can enable more science to be done more quickly than would be possible through other delivery mechanisms using longer mission times.